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  • Shona McCarthy

Cowra Japanese Gardens

Prior to covid-19, Cowra Japanese Gardens was known to have a Japanese festival every year. I attended it twice as a volunteer kimono dresser. But how did an authentic Japanese garden come to be in the middle of a rural New South Wales town? Below, you can read an article written by Costa, an Australian Journalist and gardening celebrity. He visited the park while I was there and loved it. I think he explains the historical significance better than I can. Since he plans the festival, I got to meet Don Kibbler myself too a number of times!

"Opened in 1979, the multi award-winning Cowra Japanese Garden is a 'must see' at any time of the year. The Garden's designer, Ken Nakajima, created the Kaiyushiki (strolling) Garden to symbolise the Japanese landscape. The rocky hillside, manicured hedges, waterfalls and streams, and the two lakes provide a serene environment for a myriad of birdlife. Special features of the Garden include a Bonsho Bell, a traditional Edo Cottage, an authentic open air Tea House and a Bonsai House.

The cultural centre showcases exhibitions from a variety of local and regional artists and has two galleries featuring an extensive collection of Japanese artworks and artefacts.

Take time to explore the five hectares of garden and enjoy its beauty and tranquillity. Feed the Koi carp from the viewing platforms overlooking the lakes. Enjoy modern Australian and Japanese cuisine at the licensed cafe." - VisitNSW.com, 7/7/2020

I recall being impressed an amazed that something so authentically Japanese could reside in the heart of what seemed like an otherwise typical Australian small town.

(Some photos from my 2010 visit to the Cowra Japanese gardens. I wish I had taken more, but back then I wasn't such a shutter bug. Taken by a photographer who wished to remain anonymous and me.)


Like many things now, Cowra Japanese Garden may become another unfortunate casualty of Covid-19. So, I have placed the Go Fund Me of the gardens below. Please donate what you can to protect this wonderful place.


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